More on Love, It just cannot be any clearer.

I do not have an comments on this scripture. It is just so clear.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. 1 John 4:7-21

To be a follower of Christ you must live a life of love. I do not completely understand this or maybe I should say live this way. I am very grateful for God’s grace. I will say this, I suspect God will condemn the modern Christian community for its lack of love and it over emphasis on law.

God bless.

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Don’t Look at the Light!

It is one of the funniest sceens from A Bugs Life by Pixar. It shows two flies looking at a bug light. I call it a bug zapper. I remember as a kid we had one in our back yard. You could here the bugs frying as they sucumed to the lure of the light.

Anyway, if I remember the movie right, one fly says, “Don’t look at the light!” And the other calls back “But it is so pretty.” Well he ends up getting burnt/zapped.

We can laugh at the movie but the truth hurts. Life presents so many things that lure us. Things making false promises. You have probably been enticed by things like..

  • Get rich today
  • Lose weight overnight
  • Eat this and be happier
  • Take this pill and be Healther
  • Garunteed Return on your investment
  • 100,000 mile warantee
  • No Payments till January

Ads and pomoters give us line after line about their products. Oh, what about the lure of the American dream? Work hard, make money, retire early, play hard.

John writes in 1 John about light and darkness. The lure of the world and the guiding light of Christ. Of the light he writes,

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  1 John 1:5-7

Of the darkenss/world he writes,

 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 1 John 2:15-17

There is no deceit in God. The world is full of it. We can choose for ourselves which light we will turn to. What path to walk. Remember what Jesus said to his followers about light in Luke 11:34-36.

 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”

Make sure your light is good. God bless.

Time Really Slips by Fast

Sorry for the sporadic and slow posting. I appreciate one friend’s thoughts, “you can’t be brilliant all the time.” Not sure if I ever have been.

Work has really got me smothered. I am trying very hard to get our little company running well and smooth. Both I think are going to be constant battles. Right now I am faced with the possibility of many long hours in the office and working from home. Time will tell.

I have been really blessed too. During all this chaos, I have really enjoyed stroking my girls’ hair, watching them show me tricks and acrobatics, and just being around them. It makes me wonder if God does the same for me.

I love telling my children how much I love them. I beam at them and say, “I sure am proud of you.” I can only imagine God smiling down thinking, “I sure am proud of you. What a fine young man you are turning out to be.” I know it may seem foolish but I know it is really true.

Okay, I can hear you saying I have gone off the deep end. But. But. Just think about how much you love your children. (If you do not have any children then just pretend you understand.) Now read this…

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

It is just so hard to believe, to really accept how much God loves us. So often we have been told we are unlovable and ugly sometimes by our own parents. Maybe we have felt no one has time for us. I know I am guilty of sending that message. BUT the good news is God has time for us and he sees us as his beautiful children.

God bless.

Keep Yourself from Idols

“Those who cling to worthless idols
       forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Jonah 2:8

While sitting in the belly of a whale, Jonah had some time to think and pray. I suppose any of us would.

One thing I thought interesting was the concept of “forfeiting the grace that could be theirs.” He seems to be saying that God’s grace is available for the winning; however, by worshiping idols we can loose. I realize this is not a game. Don’t get me wrong. Jonah is simply stating God’s position on holding onto believing something that is not real. When I trust myself, someone, or things, I am not trusting God who really delivers. God’s grace is not available to those who do not trust him.

A couple of other writers on idols first Paul….

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 1 Corinthians 8:4-6

and John

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:18-21

God bless.

Who’s in your Church?

WARNING: Potential Negative Vibes!

Who goes to your Church? Who do you associate with? The pretty, perfect, and prissy. How about the wealthy, successful, beautiful people of the world? Probably very nice, socially acceptable, well dressed, and popular individuals who enjoy being around others just like themselves.

Not the Jesus type of people.

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:1-7

Okay, I am being harsh. Lets face it, all those beautiful, successful people are sinners. Me too. I am one. However, I am reminded of an incidence once in a Sunday morning class I was in several years ago. The teacher had just commented that it was a struggle to get through the day without an impure thought or sinning. Then from the back an older sister piped up, “You mean you cannot get through a single day without sinning!” My jaw hit the floor. I immediately thought of  what John wrote in 1 John.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 John 1:8-10

You know, you might just be an older brother if you think you do not sin. Just might be. I cannot attract or help other sinners when I think and act this way. Mater of fact, I am of no use to God at all. Don’t even need Him. Not a good place to be.

So, who goes to your Church. I pray it is a place full of sick, lonely, crying people. All in need of a doctor. Full of sinners, younger brothers, and lost sheep. Jesus loved those kinds of people. Still does!

I cannot say I live this lesson well. I have been learning to embrace my sin. Not try to go about committing sin but realize it is because of my sin Jesus went to the cross. Now because of His love, I am freed from the guilt of my sin. I am a lost and found sheep. And I want to be with other sheep.

God bless the sheep. He is looking for you.

Scripture from the New International Version, Gospel of Luke 15:1-7, 1 John 1:8-10

You Know You Are an Older Brother if…

It takes one to know one! I realized a few years ago that the parable of the prodigal son was all about me. First, I realized that the parable was just about if not more about the older brother not about the younger son who rebelled. Second, I realized I was the older brother. The only comfort in the realization is, I am not the only older brother. There were many before me and there are plenty around with me now.

To be of use to the world at large, I thought I would write a little about some of the things in my life that really illustrate the older brother mentality.

You know you are an older brother if you do not Love!

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21

Now you might be saying, what do you mean? I love. I love my kids, I love my wife, I love my parents and inlaws. BUT. What about your neighbor? It was three years ago that I discovered I had no clue what love is. Just a small problem.I discovered I did not love people. I realized I had a problem while looking at some pictures taken by a missionary in Honduras. I was sitting in my comfortable pew in a nice air conditioned auditorium. The missionary was giving the congregation a report on his work. The pictures showed the hardships of living in a third world nation, malnutrition, homelessness, squalor, and disease. There was one picture that stood out in my mind, one that really pricked my heart. In it, standing in the middle of a dirt road lined with tin houses, was a skinny sad looking puppy. He was looking back over his shoulder toward the photographer as if to say, “Will you take me home with you?” I stopped short. It dawned on me, having just looked at many pictures with people in the same or worse conditions, I felt more pity and concern for the dog. I did not love people. Not the way I knew God wanted me to.

I left that night very bothered. I really wanted to feel justified. (another trait of older brothers). The expert in the law wanted to be justified too. After he just told Jesus in Luke 10 what was needed to receive eternal life, Luke writes, “But he wanted to justify himself, so he(the expert in the law) asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?'” It is tough realizing/admitting we are sinners.

Well I want to love people. My children are helping me learn about love. God is helping me learn about love. He will help you too.

Scripture from the New International Version, Gospel of 1 John 4:19-21